Oats and disrupted digestion


So I’ve been noticing some people mentioning some digestive upset with their DIY formulae. I’ve often had a lot of gas and diarrhea when I eat a lot of oats. I mention this because I notice people are trying to track down the responsible mirconutrient (Magnesium is the obvious culprit) but might be ignoring their body’s reaction to oats.

I may very well be alone in this sensitivity to Oats, but I thought I’d offer this idea to discussion so people who are having distress might consider experimenting with different carb sources.



I had the same, until I started soaking them, I’ve also doubled my http://www.lepicol.co.uk/products/lepicol-original-formula-350g-powder/6169 dose, now at 4g. Fixed :slight_smile:


Wow, thank you. I do notice that oats are worse for me when they haven’t really been cooked properly. Maybe all I need to do is soak them. You soak the powder?


actually I soak the whole oats as they are, 180g in 800ml water, for 1-4hrs. I do NOT rinse nor strain them afterwards, just blend them for 30 sec and then start pouring in the rest. :slight_smile:


Agreed! Slight cramps when using raw oats. Now that I soak them (and also cook them) it’s sooooooo much easier on my system AND it has better taste/mouthfeel.


How long does it take to cook? I have to assume that such fine particles cook very quickly. You might even be able to get away with mixing with freshly boiled water from a kettle.


It took not much longer, maybe 5 minutes, than it took my electric stove top to reach cooking temperature. It was pretty obvious that the oat flour had reached a porridge-like consistency.


Hey, that’s an interesting product, Ioannis. Psyllium. inulin and probiotics; I wonder if there’s anything similar on my side of the Atlantic. (I hate paying the currency premium on sterling or euro prices!) Thanks for the link.


I doubt that you are alone with that problem, Jim. It looks like several others have had similar experiences.

Because of the bother of dealing with oats from the phytic acid perspective, I’ve been looking hard for alternative carb sources but can’t say that I’ve found anything brilliant yet. There are of course other options, but if you look at various bodybuilder and health sites you quickly realise that oatmeal is held in high esteem as a premier carb source.

You could try rye or barley; better still, you might give buckwheat a serious trial. It’s a relatively soft grain that’s easy to grind to a powder in a coffee mill, a VitaMix or what have you. It has an abundance of phytase so can cope easily with its own phytate content with just a warm soak with lemon juice or yoghourt whey, and it’s a very healthy carb source. It isn’t a cereal grain, therefore may be useful to folks who are sensitive to such. I eat a lot of buckwheat and find it a useful staple. On balance, that would be my number one recommendation if you want to try something other than oats. I haven’t done a detailed comparison on the amino acid and mineral content levels between the two – if you do, it’d be interesting to see the results. It’s on my to-do list.


Cooking oat flour would raise its GI as well. It makes me wonder why I’m bothering with it.


Sorry Andrew,
Do you mean, what bother with Oats, or why bother with cooking them?


Bothering to include them at all.


You’re bothering to include them in the first place, I would say, mainly because you might like to have some carb source other than just the maltodextrin, something with a lower glycemic index that has more staying power and doesn’t produce an immediate blood sugar spike. I believe that was the rationale given for the addition of oat powder to Rob’s official formula. Even cooked, oats are still going to be absorbed more slowly than maltodextrin.

I think we should be cognizant that it isn’t quite so simple as eliminating all bothersome shopping and cooking by slapping together a brew of chemical ingredients on the assumption that everything’s made up of chemicals anyway. I’ve heard this kind of reductive thinking a couple of times and I think it’s naive if not stupid. We need to proceed very cautiously in replacing foods – highly chelated, organically-bound forms of “chemical” nutrients – with raw elements. We are evolved to eat food. We are not evolved to ingest, digest and absorb raw minerals. That’s not to say we shouldn’t look for a way around these facts, but I’m pretty sure that the way forward will be found somewhere in the middle, with a compromise between the two approaches. I doubt that we shall arrive at a simple pure chemically defined diet as easily as some appear to think.


I’m interested in a solution that doesn’t require cooking. Maybe I should get some instant oats and grind them myself. I’ll just add them to hot water and stir. If I’m going to go to the bother of cooking, I’d rather eat something a bit more delicious than soylent.


I am a huge advocate of this project as it solves some of my most nagging problems, so don’t hear this as a naysayer because I’m not. I agree with @J_Jeffrey_Bragg and would add another caution. I think people react really differently to foods. We aren’t identical food processing machines with all the same gears and levers (enzymes and immune responses).

I hope there can be a formula or a few formulas that can support most people. I’m going to try oats soaked in my DIY, and I hope that Rob’s formula had the oats processed in a way that works for me and others.

I’m sad to think that I may be too sensitive in my guts to buy the pre-made Soylent. I may have a box of stomach upset arrive at my door in August.


You may have given me the only slow carb available to me to use in my soylent (buckwheat)…I was about to give up!


Here’s a question for those of you who’ve experienced benefit (i.e., reduced bloating and/or cramps) from cooking your oats. Do you drink it while it’s still warm, or do you refrigerate it first?

I ask due to the trouble (lots of gas) I had with my first, oat-based soylent recipe. After a few months of trying to tolerate it, I experimented with cooking the oat flour and noticed a lot of improvement when I drank the mixture while it was still warm. Since I only have one soylent meal a day but make three meals at a time, I refrigerated the remaining two meals. However, I noticed that the improvement I saw with the first meal went away with the following two meals.

I know that one case isn’t significant, but it made me consider what the real culprit of my gassiness could be. It’s lead me to believe that I’m having trouble digesting the amylose and/or amylopectin that make up most of the complex carbohydrates in oats. These polysaccharides are considered resistant starches and can be difficult for some people to digest. Cooking the oats causes them to gelatinize and breaks down the bonds in these long chain carbohydrates, which should make them easier to be absorbed in the gut. Refrigeration will reverse this process through starch retrogradation, which is likely why I had gas again with the 2nd and 3rd meals.

I’ve also experimented with adding amylase from a brew supply store to my soylent, but haven’t seen the same benefit as with cooking. It could be that I’m not adding enough, or maybe it’s the wrong kind of amylase. Either way, I’ve switched to a slightly modified version of a popular corn masa-based recipe and have noticed less gas. Still not enough to let me consume it for every meal, but I can tolerate it. I wanted to put my hypothesis out here in case it makes sense to other people. I’d like to hear your thoughts. I’m not discounting that phytic acid could also be problematic either. It’s likely there are multiple contributors to why oats gives some people trouble.


Fiber and microflora tend to be the go-to response. After a week or so it’ll go away.